Review: Gotham – Season 2, Episode 6 “By Fire”

io9 headline for the review of this episode:

Last Night’s Gotham Was So Dumb I Can Barely Stand It


I don’t even know what to say about this episode.

Gordo, The Thing, Selina, and the Redshirt Brigade
Gordon BLAMES HIMSELF for the rookie who got himself terminated because Gordon FEELS GUILT and RESPONSIBILITY for THINGS and HIS PEOPLE. He also has to constantly compromise his “integrity” because it provides the audience with the drama of watching a good cop go bad. Except, Gordon “compromises” his integrity so often that it seems like he never had any in the first place.

The Redshirt Brigade reports Gordon for his conduct violations (as they should) and Ben Grimm pulls Gordon into his office to tell him not to beat up criminals. Which is strange, considering last episode this man walked into a room full of men in their underwear and yelled “Raise your hands if you don’t want to get shot!” and then refused to allow any of them pants. But ok! Let’s pretend he cares about police brutality. (also – didn’t he give some “WE WILL CLEAN UP THIS TOWN BY ANY MEANS NECESSARY!” speech after assembling the Redshirt Brigade?)

Gordon then figures out that Selina is hanging with Firefly so Bullock (who is criminally underused this season) asks Ivy where she is “ginger to ginger.” He then calls the Redshirt Brigade “the fascist youth.” I love Bullock. Where is my “day in the life of the increasingly annoyed Harvey Bullock” episode? Because that would be amazing. Nothing big has to happen, just Harvey trying to eat a donut but never getting to because stupid bullshit keeps interrupting him.

Selina and Firefly go to rob and whole room full of grown men who are congregating to literally buy women. Firefly is all, “Hey, that’s wrong, let’s help them” and Selina is all, “fuck bitches get money.”

Then the Riddler runs onscreen and high fives her.

Somehow, two teenage girls are able to intimidate a room full of hardened criminals who have no problems BUYING ANOTHER HUMAN BEING into giving them all their money. They don’t get shot, which…what? Firefly takes all the money and Selina tries to put her on a bus, but her brothers are apparently mind readers because they know exactly where she is and they kidnap her.

When Selina goes to get one of her many guns, Gordon busts into her apartment. Can we talk about Selina’s apartment? It looks like an industrial closet with a huge fan taking up one wall but it has two double doors? What purpose did that room serve before it was a teenage orphan’s hovel? (And – Jim busts through locked double doors with two 2x4s nailed to door with no effort at all.)

Selina tells Gordon what’s going on and asks him not to kill her friend. Jim’s all, “uh…most everyone who crosses my path dies but…uh…yeah…I promise…” :crosses fingers behind his back:

Back at Firefly’s place, her dumb brothers have chained her to the radiator and they’re throwing lit firecrackers at her. When she promises that she wants to be part of the family, they let her go because they are literally dumb as shit. She, of course, burns them to death.

When Jim and Bullock show up at the apartment (full of flammable shit that somehow did not go up in a blaze of glory) Bullock checks on the brothers. One of them isn’t dead. Not even Bullock escapes the idiocy of this show because he proceeds to  KICK A BURN VICTIM TO DEATH because he had a little scare.

When Gordon reports in to Ben Grimm, he tells Grimm that Firefly was a punching bag for psychos and he promised Selina that he wouldn’t kill her. Ben Grimm is all, “Remember how less than 30 minutes ago I told you that we need to obey proper laws of police conduct? FORGET I SAID THAT SHIT. YOU SHOOT THAT TEENAGE GIRL NO MATTER WHAT, EVEN IF SHE ISN’T RESISTING ARREST! IF THAT BITCH SURRENDERS AND DROPS HER WEAPON, PUT ONE RIGHT BETWEEN HER EYES!!! AVENGE THE REDSHIRT! That’ll be all.”

Gordon is all, “…that’s a mixed message but can and will do!”

Firefly has a talk with Selina but she doesn’t listen to her. She decides to go free the women who Selina didn’t give two fucks about (the defender of the East End and its disadvantaged citizens, everyone!)  This is obviously the “We need to do something with Selina” episode. And it’s almost possible to see that Selina, for all her tough girl bravado, is just a lonely kid who wants a friend (who doesn’t have a slap-happy butler). That’s why she’s helping Firefly. But it doesn’t feel that way. Selina is, once again, mostly reacting to things happening around her.

When the police show up, Firefly doesn’t drop her flamethrower. One of the cops grazes her gas tank and fuel spills all over her suit. She burns to death in the street.

When Gordon gets home to find Selina pointing a gun at a very chill Leslie, he doesn’t tell her that Firefly’s death was an accident because that would lead to less angst. Selina lets it slip that Penguin hired the brothers and then she goes to cry on a roof. This coincides with the Riddler’s Sad and the music so overdone it might as well have been R.E.M.’s “Everybody Hurts”.

Butch a.k.a “The Hammer”
Butch starts this episode out at Galavan’s missing a hand and begging for a job. Of course no one can pay attention to what Butch is saying because there’s a fucking guy standing on a stack of books and trying not to die the entire time.

All you got is a bloody stump? Sorry, Butch, "I'm about to be hung" dude is bringing THE DRAMA.

All you got is a bloody stump? Sorry, Butch, “I’m about to be hanged” dude is bringing THE DRAMA.

Butch then gets a sweet mallet hand, which is probably the best thing this show has ever done.

Galavan doesn’t believe for one minute that Butch is loyal to him, but he immediately guesses that he’s been brainwashed by Penguin. The cure for brainwashing? Having his sister beat the shit out of him.

Butch tells Penguin he’s found his mother, so Penguin gets all the guys to grab all the guns and go liberate her like she’s France. Considering this is a setup, it will not end well.



Riddler and Garland McPlotDevice have the sex. Riddler then admits that he killed her former boyfriend and he was stalking her. She’s like, “OH MY GOD, THE WRITERS ARE FINALLY LETTING ME REMEMBER THAT I WAS FUCKING TERRIFIED OF YOU LAST SEASON!”

He tries to explain, when she tries to run he grabs her so she hits him, and then he strangles her while he promises to never ever hurt her.

I would like to take a moment to quote my review from episode 4. I said:

Let’s call it now – he’ll (and by “he’ll” I mean his “confident” other self) will kill her by the fall finale. Sorry, Tinsel. You made the mistake of being an object of desire on a prime time TV show. Enjoy your violent and bloody death.

RIP, PlotVagina. I’ll place all my memories of you in one of these:

Galavan v. Wayne
After Galavan decides to let Butch live with him and use his tools as appendages, he finally gets around to the random hanging guy in the background. That guy is a congressman and Galavan has decided that the way to get support in the upcoming election is to threaten and torture his fellow politicians. Like I said before – why the hell the guy who is trying to get people to think he’s Gotham’s Good Guy is getting his hands dirty and then LEAVING WITNESSES ALIVE is beyond me. You’ve got money and you’ve got muscle – use this things to your advantage. I’ve seen movies, the real Big Bad never gets his fucking hands dirty if he can help it. (Maybe Galavan isn’t the real big bad of the season??)

Meanwhile, Alfred is “training” Bruce but I think it’s all a ruse for Alfred to achieve his child-hitting quota for the episode. At least this time the child was aware there was a possibility of getting punched in the face and was even allowed to hit back?

At Galavan’s dinner, Manic Pixie Dream Silver is wearing a dress made for a woman twice her age. They don’t even try to make “Bruce coming to dinner” in any way believable (like, Silver called him to come over and study, dinner is ready so Bruce goes to leave and Galavan says, “Bruce, why don’t you eat with us? We have more than enough!” and Silver says, “Yes! Stay!” so he does? Nope! GALAVAN invited a 13-year-old boy to his house for dinner through his niece which isn’t weird at all) so we’re back with the Kid Bruce in Adult Bruce situations. After dinner, the men retire to the parlor to sip fine bourbon and discuss politics and help with corporate dealings. Sure. Ask the kid who can’t even vote to support you in your political dealings by promising help with his family’s company.

The Ending
A badly burned Firefly wheeled down a corridor while orderlies partake in Exposition Dialogue. She’s been sent “here” to be experimented on like the rest of the “monsters”.  She’s fireproof now. We see some blurry forms that fans are saying might be Mr. Freeze or Killer Croc or even Bane. There’s a lady in a cat suit who looks like she has electrodes strapped to her. I don’t have any guesses on the guys because they were too blurry to make out (except I saw a three-fingered hand that could have belonged Croc.) The lady in the cat suit…Livewire, maybe? And if Firefly is fireproof…is she Volcana now? Or Fire?

As they push her down the hall we see a sign reading “Indian Hill A Division of Wayne Enterprises.” (You know what would solve Gotham’s problems? Getting rid of anything and everything Wayne. Maybe Galavan has the right idea. And – if Thomas Wayne was CEO, there is no way in hell he didn’t know about Indian Hill.)

This is the only part of the episode that was interesting. We know Galavan is Evil with a capital E and he’s going to try to kill Bruce. We know the Penguin/Galavan showdown next week won’t end well. We know that Ben Grimm will betray Gordon and Gordon will struggle to stay a Good Cop (as if he was actually a good cop at all.) What I don’t know is who sent Firefly to Indian Hill. Maybe this will get interesting? We can hope. But it’s Gotham, I’m sure it’ll be a colossal disappointment.


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